SanDisk targets next-gen CloudSpeed Eco SSD at hyperscale market

The announcement at Computex Taipei 2015 is intended to be SanDisk’s coming out party for the large Taiwanese ODM market, with a product that will sell mainly through the ODMs, but will have some channel pockets.

CloudSpeed 300SanDisk is focusing on hyperscale customers with its new CloudSpeed Eco Gen. II SATA SSD, a dense product with up to 2TB capacity.

“CloudSpeed is being refreshed and being made more efficient with this next–generation product,” said Brian Cox, senior director of product and solution marketing for SanDisk’s enterprise flash storage business. “These are tailored specifically for hyperscale data centers.”

“These new CloudSpeed SSDs have up to 2 TB capacity, up from 1.6 TB in the previous generation,” said Chris Marsh, solutions marketing manager, SanDisk Enterprise Storage Solutions. “That difference might seem trivial, but when you are dealing with service providers who deal in multi-petabyte environments, it makes a huge difference.”

Based on SanDisk’s 15nm NAND flash, the new CloudSpeed Eco Gen. II SSD delivers greater storage density, with up to 530 MB/s sequential reads.

“That’s 530 MB/s of sustained sequential throughput, not peak throughput,” Marsh said. “There is no drop-off. This is up to three times better performance than HDDs, and it solves issues on the storage side for hyperscale service providers.” It means a significantly lower cost-per-square-foot for hyperscale applications such as analytics, media streaming and content repositories.

“There’s a market for raw capacity, and we make a product for that, but raw capacity isn’t what the large service providers want,” Marsh continued. “For them, sustained throughput and power failure protection are important.” These devices provide full data path protection, data fail protection, and backup power circuitry.

SanDisk has built up its business with both western and Chinese based service providers, and has a growing number of engagements with ODMs.

“A lot of things have changed in the last few quarters with the ODMs, as before, we did little in this market,” Marsh said. “We are at Computex because this is our coming out party for Taiwan and the ODMs.”

That’s very good news for SanDisk. For their existing channel partners, however, it means that their direct opportunities with this specific product will be very limited, since the ODMs will be the main route to market.

“As with most business products targeted at the hyperscale market, which is usually direct, the channel opportunities here will be limited,” Cox said. “There are also OEMs like Rackspace and Dell that service that market. The second and third tier hyperscale cloud service provider firms do procure their drives through regional resellers, and there will be a market there. So there are pockets of this business that will go through the channel.”

The main good news for SanDisk partners, Cox added, is that much stronger channel products which use the new technology are coming.

“This particular offering is very tightly defined and targeted specifically at the hyperscale market,” he said. “In the next couple quarters, however, we will be announcing a drive targeted at the enterprise.”

CloudSpeed Eco Gen. II 2TB SSD is currently sampling with select customers, and will be generally available later this year.